UAE firms will need to address emerging tech trends, says Accenture

16 October 2018 4 min. read

Global consultancy Accenture has identified five major emerging tech trends in its latest Technology Vision report which it contends companies in the UAE will need to address to succeed in the new digital economy.

The global digital consulting powerhouse Accenture has released the latest update to its Technology Vision 2018 report, a joint project by Accenture Labs and Accenture Research which takes in the views of dozens of internal and external tech experts and business leaders, along with a survey of some 6,400 business and IT executives mostly representing organisations generating in excess of $5 billion in revenues across 25 countries, including the UAE.

For the senior executives of the UAE, who have in a number of previous surveys proven themselves to be among the most ready worldwide to embrace emerging technologies – including a recent canvass by KPMG of CEOs in the UAE consumer goods sector – the Accenture survey found that more than 80 percent of local respondents agreed that companies through modern technologies are becoming ever more integrated to the fabric of everyday lives.

This development, says Accenture, defines a new era. “This latest transformation is unique. For the first time, the change is a two-way street. People aren’t just using products and services, but feeding information and access back to them. To deliver integrated innovation, companies need a profound level of insight into people’s lives. For intelligent enterprise, this level of connection—and this degree of trust—require a new type of relationship. It’s not just business. It’s personal.”Three-year set of technology trends - AccentureAs such, according to the firm, companies in the UAE will need to make strategic shifts if they are to develop the partnerships and trust required to be successful in the modern era, with Accenture highlighting five widespread emerging trends and what will need to be addressed in regard to each; “Capitalising on growth opportunities while also having a positive impact on society requires a new era of leadership that prioritises trust and greater responsibility.”

The first technology trend, and perhaps that which generates the greatest level of public unease, is with respect to artificial intelligence. AI as it grows will increasingly impact on people’s lives, and Accenture argues that firms must acknowledge this impact – ‘raising’ AI to act responsibly as a representative of the company, as an accountable force with fairness and transparency. The firm gives the example of the three quarters of UAE execs who note that AI and employees will work side-by-side in the coming years, yet only 12 percent say that employees currently have a full understanding of the process.

The other trends include data veracity, where companies must ensure their data is not inaccurate, manipulated or biased – maximising veracity and minimising incentives for data manipulation; extended reality (XR) – closing the physical distance between employees and customers through virtual or augmented reality; frictionless business, the requirement for businesses to redesign themselves due to the dependence on tech-based partnerships and inadequate legacy systems, and; creating intelligent distributed systems – the bringing of intelligent environments rich with robotics, AI and immersive experiences to life by modernising enterprise technology infrastructures.

Alexis Lecanuet, Accenture Regional Managing Director for Middle East & Turkey says; “The UAE continues to witness the exponential speed at which technology is disrupting industries; and as a future-focused country, is fortunate to have the mindset required to leverage these technology advancements. To do so, it requires the creation of reliable principles that focus on establishing trust with clients and business partners. As a result, companies’ commitments to such partnerships enable them to invent new products and services that meet customers’ goals. Inevitably, this is what will allow for further growth and differentiation.”